The Best Cheap Golf Clubs for an Intermediate Player
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If you're an intermediate level golfer, you play the game with some proficiency. An intermediate golfer carries a U.S. Golf Association handicap in the 10 to 20 range and usually shoots from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. So you want a decent set of clubs, not an old, rusted set from a yard sale. But that doesn't mean you need to buy the newest and shiniest models, which can set you back as much as $2,000 at the time of publication. With a little shopping around, you can buy excellent clubs at a bargain price.
The Right Stuff
A set of golf clubs for an intermediate golfer includes a driver, fairway woods, irons, hybrids, wedges and a putter. As Frankly Golf explains, an intermediate golfer is primarily looking for clubs offering forgiveness on mishits. A good driver for an intermediate player is made of titanium or steel, with a fairly large clubhead that offers forgiveness when you don't strike the ball squarely. The best irons for most intermediate golfers are game improvement irons, with perimeter weighting in the clubface. You'll need at least two or three high-quality wedges -- a pitching wedge, sand wedge and perhaps a lob wedge. Last but definitely not least, a putter that feels great and enables you to roll the ball with control and confidence is the best way to lower your scores.
Older and Perhaps Better
"The Guardian" recommends purchasing second-hand clubs at reasonable prices. You can find used clubs at some pro shops and golf shops, online at sites dedicated to golf or at sites such as eBay or Craigslist. Buying used clubs from top golf manufacturers can save you a tremendous amount of money. At the same time, clubs that are just a few years old often perform as well as brand-new models, making them the best choice for many intermediate golfers. Demos -- clubs that have been used as testers at pro shops and golf shops -- also can be a source of cheap and decent clubs.
Check the Calendar
Peter Finch at "Golf Digest" advises you to buy clubs at certain times of the year in order to save money on new models. Most golf companies introduce new lines in the fall or around the first of the year. You'll pay the maximum amount for the new offerings when they are released, but after six to 12 months most retailers drop prices substantially. This is often the cheapest way to buy new clubs from the best companies. It's similar to buying a new car, which often is discounted right before the next model hits the showroom.
Putting It All Together
Whether you buy a complete set of clubs or assemble a set from various sources, all of the clubs need to match your particular game and swing. An intermediate golfer could have a very fast swing or a slow swing and his clubs should be adjusted accordingly. As "The Wall Street Journal" emphasizes, regardless of how much you spend to buy clubs, a good club fitting is essential for obtaining the maximum performance from your equipment. Club fitting is relatively inexpensive, so you can use some of the money you save on clubs for a good club fitting and a few lessons, the best ways to go from an intermediate to an advanced golfer.
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.